To adopt a child, the court requires permission from both biological parents. However, the father’s permission is only possible if he is known. This could mean that in an adoption situation, you will not have any say in what happens with your child.
Adoption From the Heart explains that as the father, you have the same rights as the mother, but only when you legally secure those rights.
To secure your rights, you must establish paternity. If you were married to the mother when the child was born, then you automatically have rights. If you were not married, then you will need to establish paternity with the court.
You should note that if you wish to establish paternity at the time of the adoption, the court may require that you show you have had meaningful contact with the child prior to this, that you tried to have such contact previously or that you did not know of the child’s existence before this.
Once you establish your parental rights, you have a say in the adoption process. You can assert your rights to the child, or you can give them up. If you do not consent to the adoption, it will likely not go through. You must consent of your own free will without pressure from the mother or anyone else.
In some cases, the court may remove your rights. If it does not feel that you have a relationship with the child or cannot provide him or her a safe and healthy life, then the court may override your rights and allow the adoption to continue.